Double USM

Image Sharpening Double Control

Double USM presentation image

BY DAVIDE BARRANCA

Photoshop USM

The UnSharp Mask (also known as USM) filter boosts the image's perceived sharpness (high frequency detail) by means of artificial Dark and Light Halos, created around borders. Since its first appearance (Photoshop 1.0, 1990) USM hasn't changed: you're allowed to control Radius (how thick halos are) and Amount (how strong halos are), besides Threshold.

Double USM

Double USM doubles your sharpening control: you can set a Radius, an Amount and a Threshold for Dark Halos, and different ones for Light Halos. As Color-Correction expert Dan Margulis has demonstrated, Light Halos tend to be visually more offending and need to be toned down - both in their intensity (Amount) and in their thickness (Radius).


Standard Sharpening

A heavy handed pre-press default USM is 500-1 (Amount-Radius), that you can always tone down with Layer's opacity. Double USM gives a more natural effect with (400-1.5) for Dark Halos and (250-0.7) for Light Halos - about half intensity and half thickness.

HiRaLoAm Sharpening

Also known as High-Radius, Low Amount: used to give shape and sort of a 3D look. A starting point could be (50-50) for Dark Halos and (30-30) for Light Halos. As you see, the Radii are unusually high, while Amounts are below the values you would expect.

Creative Sharpening

With Double USM nothing prevents you from experimenting: a creative sharpening might imply a Standard USM for Dark Halos (say, 400-1.5) and HiRaLoAm for Light Halos (say, 30-50) in order to get the best of both worlds!

Presets

Create and apply your own Sharpening Presets! Mind you, when it comes to Sharpening there are no perfect receipts nor absolute values: it always depends on the image's resolution, subject, and eventually on your own taste!


Everything you need to know about Double USM 2 in six minutes of weird fun. Believe me.


Before After

Before After

Before After

Double USM Interface Screenshot

Documentation

Quickstart Guide

Quickstart Guide

Compact documentation to introduce the Interface, with easy sharpening examples.

Sharpening Theory

Sharpening Theory

What's the UnSharp Mask filter all about and what's wrong with it.

Sharpening Examples

Sharpening Examples

Professional images case study by Double USM author Davide Barranca.

Double USM (2.0.0)

Multiplatform License $34.95

Buy here Photoshop CC → CC2017
(Mac & Win)
Current Version: 2.0.0

Reviews

 (5/5 based on 6 reviews on Adobe Exchange)
    • Must have (v1.2.3)
    • 23 Dic 2013 by Alexander (5/5)
    • An absolutely must-have script for every ambitious photographer from well known Developer Davide Barranca. You will see your photos sharpened with the best "digital knife" you can get.
    • Very powerful extension (v1.2.3)
    • 30 Nov 2013 by Andrea (5/5)
    • The easiest way to get a *very* quality sharpening without long and boring passages. Maximum control on light and dark halos. Love it!
    • Easy to use and adjust (v1.0.2)
    • 02 Aug 2013 by John (5/5)
    • Works very well and you can easily adjust to your liking.
    • Love it (v1.0.2)
    • 08 Jul 2013 by John (5/5)
    • Great results and easy to use. It would be nice to have some presets in the next version.
    • Useful (v1.0.1)
    • 18 Jun 2013 by Mark (5/5)
    • Another interesting and useful tool from Mr. Barranca.
    • You'll never sharp alone (v1.0.0)
    • 05 Feb 2013 by John (5/5)
    • A MUST HAVE script.